“Carnival” is produced by Wen Yu, Chi Yufeng, Yue Lina and Hangzhou Qixuan Film Co., Ltd., Beijing Perfect Jianxin Film and Television Culture Co., Ltd., Kashgar Jiaying Culture Media Co., Ltd. Wen Qi, Zhou Meijun, Shike, Geng Le starred in the feature film. It was released on November 2017 in mainland China.
“Carnival” focuses on two young girls and the story of a hotel worker, Xiaomi, who happens to come across a child abuse case in the hotel and in order to keep her job, decide to remain silent. With some struggle and frustration, they finally decide to reveal the truth.
Xiaomi (Wen Qi) is a cleaner working in a cheap hotel, and Lily (Peng Jing) at the front desk always wants her help. One night, Lily persuads Xiaomi to cover for her at the front desk for one night so that she can slip out to see her boyfriend. A senior local official, Liu, brings in two young girls, Xiaowen (Chou Meijun) and Xiaoxin (Jiang Xinyue). Xiaomi immediately becomes suspicious. She observes the the hotel’s surveillance system and starts recording on her cell phone.
Early the next morning, two young girls look depressed. Their teacher sensing something is amiss, calls their parents and the police. They are examined at the hospital which confirms that both have been sexually assaulted. The police, led by the police detective captain Wang (Li Mengle), searches the hotel and finds surveillance video that could convict President Liu, but the footage showing him entering the rooms of the two girls has been deleted. The police questions Lily, who claims to be on duty that night. Fearing that she would lose her job for covering for Lily, Xiaomi keeps mum and says nothing about the evidence she has.
Because of the lack of evidence, it looks like the official is about to go scot free. The two girls’ lawyer, Ms. Yan Jie will not give up and instinctively thinks Xiaomi is lying…
This is a work that is closely linked to domestic social issues. The film delivers beautiful, strong performances, putting the audiences at the edge of their seats till the climax of the film.
The film’s social significance and artistry is beyond doubt and it became a hot topic after its release. Foreign media and film critics love the film. Its domestic broadcast also triggered a heated debate among the audience and 82% of netizens gave it an above 80% rating.
The show which was shown at both the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival, was shortlisted for the main competition unit of the 74th Venice International Film Festival and received a lot of reviews.
The show won a lot of accolades including Wen Qi winning the Best Actress Award at the 54th Antalya Golden Orange International Film Festival in October 2017 and being named the Top 10 Best Chinese Films of the Year 2017;
“Almost all of the actors are women and the characters are the women who emerge from small towns in southern China. The film sheds light on their plight because they want to survive in a male-dominated world,” the Hollywood Reporter commented. ”
“It’s a critical story, but it’s told with gentle compassion. It whips up the abuse and marginalization of women, and there’s a lot of darkness in this sunny place,” says Screen Daily. “